Top tennis on Mid Canterbury courts

Flynn Ness is one of the former local players who is competing in the Christchurch premier men’s tennis competition this season.

Some of Canterbury’s top tennis players will be in action in Ashburton this weekend when the Christchurch premier grade competition stops off in town.

It’s the second season in a row that Christchurch’s premier grade has made the trip to the Ashburton Trust Tennis Centre to play a round, but this year it’s just the men coming due to the women’s first round already being finished.

Mid Canterbury Tennis president Neil McCann said it would again be a great opportunity to see some of the best tennis players in Canterbury in action and it was hoped people would head along to check it out.

He said last season’s first visit to Ashburton by the Christchurch premier grade was a huge success, so the decision had been made to do it again.

“All of the players said it was great and they all enjoyed it, and they don’t generally play in the same venue, the guys and the girls, so it was a great social occasion,” McCann said.

Usually their Saturday competition involved teams heading to various clubs around Christchurch, so playing all together at the one venue – the 16 courts at the Ashburton Trust Tennis Centre – had been a novelty.

McCann said it was hoped the round in Ashburton would become an annual occurrence.

Just who would turn out for each of the clubs on Saturday probably wouldn’t be known until they turned up on the day, but two Ashburton players were playing in the Christchurch premier men’s grade competition this season – Flynn Ness and James Watt.

Watt – who attended Timaru Boys’ High School – won the 2017 Otago Open, and was due to compete in last weekend’s Canterbury Open but had to withdraw due to illness.

Canterbury’s top player and tennis coach James Meredith was not likely to make the trip to Ashburton, but former Ashburton coach Remi Feneon was a likely starter, a week after finishing runner-up in the Canterbury Open.

The Christchurch premier grade competition will get under way at 1.30pm at the Ashburton Trust Tennis Centre tomorrow, with Mid Canterbury’s A grade competition moving to the earlier than usual time of 11am to accommodate the visitors.

Mid Canterbury’s junior interclub competition will start at 9am.